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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 34.09%
Just Average: 2.84%
Pretty Crappy: 2.27%
Sucks: 0.57%

14 reviews, 92 user ratings

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Kung Fu Hustle
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by Jason Whyte

"Do The Hustle!"
5 stars

If I told you that there was a scene in the middle of “Kung Fu Hustle” where two people chase each other at the speed of the Roadrunner, complete with giddy footwork, would you believe me? Better yet, would that make you want to see it? In Stephen Chow’s world, scenes like these are ordinary, and “Kung Fu Hustle” is full of one insane moment after another. And it’s with great pleasure to report that Hong Kong’s own box-office champ has finally made its way to the West in its full, uncut form.

To describe what Chow has done here is pretty difficult to fit into such a short review, just like how I couldn’t describe “Shaolin Soccer” to friends except to say “Well, it’s about soccer, but with kung-fu. And lots of weird effects” and then lend them my DVD copy. He brings his own form of wacky, unadulterated style into a day and age where everything is exploding or trying to give us a scare. It may take a while getting used to, but when you get into his head, you don’t want to get out.

Set in Shanghai in the style of the 1930’s crime noir pictures a’la Howard Hawks and Billy Wilder, the film begins by introducing us to the Axe Gang in a full force dance number as they show that their power even supersedes the police. We then cut to Pig Sty Alley, which lives up to its name, where we meet Sing (Stephen Chow) who is a wannabe member of the Axe gang with his oversized friend. When word gets out that Sing is trying to play a member of the group, the Axe gang responds to fight, all to find out that the Pig Sty Alley has several interesting characters of their own, not the least the Landlord (Yuen Wah) who is quiet and calm despite a major kung-fu ability, and the Landlady (Yuen Qai) who, with a forever dangling cigarette in her mouth, can scream or run her way out of any situation.

And then it comes to the aforementioned chase sequence where Landlady runs into Sing, and the two of them have a giddy chase in the outskirts of Pig Sty Alley where all I can think of is Wily E. Coyote chasing after the Roadrunner. If you’re not completely in love with this movie at this point, there is no turning back as the film’s use of comedy and visual effects does not stop as Sing tries to get into the Axe Gang and simultaneously comes to realise his full potential as a kung-fu master.

Chow’s “Shaolin Soccer” was not handled well when released stateside, with Miramax delaying the release and finally shuffling it out into theatres last year with a quick DVD release. Thankfully, Sony Classics has distribution of “Kung Fu Hustle” and the stateside release is completely uncut with English subtitles. This is thankfully the norm after the successful releases last year of “Hero” and “House of Flying Daggers” which were also in their unabridged form.

Here is the kind of wide-screen entertainment that is best been on the largest screen possible with the biggest audience. It is too timid for even the best home theatre set-up. The style, cinematography, blitzkrieg effects and comedy can really only be appreciated in this form. “Kung Fu Hustle” is really like what the other critics have said: it truly IS like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=10619&reviewer=350
originally posted: 04/28/05 02:14:42
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. For more in the 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/01/13 Atari TwentySixHundred Flaxman, totally missed the mark. This film is beautiful, fun, and exciting! 5 stars
1/04/10 stephan chow fan forever ok.. if you want to get the full effects of the movie, then learn chinese (puns and stuff) 5 stars
12/22/09 Cody This movie is one of the best I've ever seen and I am waiting for the 2010 sequel 5 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner The Action was Amazing! 5 stars
3/12/08 ako excellent film by Chow with indepth understanding of the 3 level of Kung Fu. 5 stars
6/05/07 tracey chambers great movie. funny as hell. 5 stars
5/06/07 fools♫gold Die?! In this racket? 5 stars
4/17/07 David Pollastrini pretty silly! 2 stars
2/06/07 AJ Muller Drops laughs and ass-whuppins our way in old school WB style. Awesome. 4 stars
1/08/07 Drew Galletti As a kung-fu nerd, a well done, humorous homage to the genre 5 stars
12/07/06 UGB Definately worth a look - I thought it pretty funny 4 stars
7/05/06 drydock54321 just like a live action cartoon. Love that lion roar. 5 stars
5/05/06 Jason Terrible, unfunny movie. I'd rather watch a Tony Jaa movie 1 stars
3/30/06 Steb A kung fu comedy! What more could you ask for? 5 stars
2/11/06 brewt hustle me good 4 stars
12/31/05 metalhead Kung Fu Hustle is Freakin Sweet! One of the greatest movies ever made. 5 stars
11/15/05 Adrian Unique in every aspect...and thats what makes it so damn good and fun to watch. 5 stars
10/14/05 eddiejohns Funny and action-packed. I liked this combo. 4 stars
10/13/05 Indrid Cold A cross between "Crouching Tiger" and "Kung Pao"; dumb but entertaining. 4 stars
9/23/05 Mark Radburn A Kick-Ass Asian movie, A must-see 5 stars
9/21/05 Fritz Kind of amusing, but not as funny as it thinks it is. 3 stars
9/16/05 millersxing riki tiki tembo no sa rembo chari bari ruchi pip peri pembo 5 stars
9/11/05 Rever_Bear-Trap This RATING says it all! 5 stars
9/11/05 Alex Robert Rodriguez died 5 stars
9/08/05 Phil M. Aficionado The more I think about it, the better I like it; stunningly chaotic and funny and lively 5 stars
9/01/05 Zack it pretty sweet 3 stars
9/01/05 JFK great asian comedy. 4 stars
8/29/05 Quigley doesn't deliver what it promises. the CG wasn't great and neither were the fight scenes. 3 stars
8/27/05 Tom Burns This movie was amazing. 5 stars
8/24/05 Kat Scrumtrilacent with a hint of stellar. 5 stars
8/23/05 Nick Great movie.Up there with Spiderman. 5 stars
8/15/05 John Kung Fu Hustle R1 DvD is edited. Blood has been taken out and a scene has been shortened 4 stars
8/14/05 Ebru Germeyan Not even a Cartoon movie could top this movie 5 stars
8/13/05 othree next level. solid story, cast, imagery, believable cheeziness 5 stars
8/12/05 Justin Kline Funnier Than Heck 4 stars
7/16/05 Kathy terPlugg Not as good as KUNG POW: ENTER THE FIST. 3 stars
7/05/05 jim even better than Revenge of the Sith 5 stars
6/25/05 Sean Poon It has more depth than it appears to be 5 stars
6/14/05 jameth burketh Absolutely hillarious-gets better with repeated viewing. A very clever film 5 stars
6/08/05 Gray It was fun 4 stars
6/06/05 captain craig the more I see it, the more I like it 5 stars
5/27/05 juli Matrix fights ripped off Hong Kong movies to begin with 5 stars
5/21/05 Cham Like watching a live-action violent cartoon. 4 stars
5/21/05 kemalx78 very funy when i watching this i amnt boring 5 stars
5/16/05 Shawn Borucki Excellent film, Stephen Chow tops "Shaolin Soccer" with mixing gangs and land ladies.. 5 stars
5/10/05 Morrigan Matrix Ripoffs? You sir are an idiot. 5 stars
5/08/05 Ka-Poon Chan Its a very good film, a different outlook from this genre of film making! 4 stars
5/04/05 Koitus Was the urination scene REALLY necessary??? Also, MANY scenes were "Matrix" rip-offs... 2 stars
5/02/05 michaelb14 "I did'nt know The Lion's Roar could be done with a speaker!" 5 stars
5/01/05 your worst goddamn nightmare Take a bit of Loony Toons and Jackie Chan and you've got this. Sounds terrible, BUT........ 5 stars
5/01/05 Dorothy Malm quite entertaining, a lot of fun 5 stars
4/30/05 Chris Stephens This is one cool movie 5 stars
4/28/05 Titus Way cool. 5 stars
4/27/05 Uncle Salty See it. Love it. 5 stars
4/27/05 Colleen Godlrick unique 5 stars
4/27/05 Jeff Anderson A high energy, hysterical & full-throttle BLAST! More fun than all 3 MATRIX films combined! 5 stars
4/26/05 Naka God, YES!!! 5 stars
4/25/05 Whatevr Oh, dizzamn! 5 stars
4/25/05 KingNeutron Fkg awesome, wacky, goofy, sometimes disturbing, and oddly... moving. See twice! 5 stars
4/23/05 jeff not as good as house of flying daggers but still funny and awsome 5 stars
4/23/05 jakob it rocked hard. 5 stars
4/19/05 jordan can you give kung fu hustle movie 0n dvd 2004 2 stars
4/18/05 Al Guy I love it! Watch out for the Hollywood "remake". 5 stars
4/14/05 Gray this movie was great fun! 5 stars
4/12/05 Junior LaRoche Great! Sony Classics know how to release films, unlike Miramax. 5 stars
4/12/05 visual A must-see!!!! 5 stars
4/11/05 Mr. Majestyk If you can't enjoy this movie, you need a blowjob. 5 stars
4/11/05 Dan Olson Good, but not Chow's best and not worth the acclaim 4 stars
4/09/05 Vince Not overly hilarious, but fun. 4 stars
4/09/05 mahn erfa 5 stars
4/07/05 Lina Correa everyone should borrow this from their friend with the large DVD collection 4 stars
4/01/05 kran must watch 5 stars
3/25/05 Greg Ursic Outstanding!! Never have I seen that many reviewers mock fighting in a lobby. 5 stars
3/08/05 vu Awesome 5 stars
3/02/05 michael weber gwaaaaaaaaaa!!!! 3 stars
2/24/05 jandro Great and Side-Splitting funny, Chow sure knows how to tickle the funny bone 5 stars
2/12/05 anthony hilarious and energetic fun! but the script couldve used more work 4 stars
2/07/05 Zach a must-watch! 5 stars
1/29/05 Ery amazingly beautiful and funny 5 stars
1/28/05 buddy garrett same old formula 2 stars
1/28/05 keith james CHOW (GETS) DOWN! 4 stars
1/12/05 Maya gut-busting funny, way cool fight scenes, and unpredictable. i'm now a huge fan. 5 stars
1/11/05 Josh Funniest film i've seen for ages - very stylish too 5 stars
1/10/05 Miles Bader Hits every note just right, silly and affectionate 5 stars
1/08/05 Francis Ayock Stephen Chow homage to the Cantonese Martial Arts films of the last few decades. 5 stars
1/01/05 Dominique Incredibly hilarious - far better than Shaolin Soccer! 5 stars
1/01/05 alicia yeo shi ling absolutely funny! 4 stars
12/23/04 ArQ Chow did it again! 5 stars
9/20/04 Naka Hysterical!!! 5 stars
9/15/04 Pop very good film 4 stars
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  08-Apr-2005 (R)
  DVD: 09-Aug-2005



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